The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is working with stakeholders to have the ban on vegetable exports to the European Union lifted in the next three months. That’s the assurance from the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto.
The ban was imposed on some vegetables exported to the EU as a result of the failure of exporters to meet international quality standards.
The ban was placed by the food and veterinary Office of the European Commission for some vegetables mainly pepper, eggplant, and gourds. This was attributed to several interceptions due to the presence of harmful organisms in exported produce.
The ban was until December 2016 but has been further extended to December 2017.
A team from the EU is however due to visit the country in Sepetmber for an assessment towards a possible review of the ban and Dr Akoto Afriyie is confident the country will pass the test for the ban to be lifted.
He said “The European Union has come up with certain conditions based on which the ban will be lifted. So we are making sure that the actions will be taken. In addition to that we are taking steps to comply with the EU regulations and also trying to restructure our own internal arrangements as well as getting the right personnel manning activities at the ports of entry and in the various regions.
So I’m very confident that with all the work we’ve done so far in collaboration with the stakeholders we are prepared now to receive the delegation from the EU to audit in September so that the ban can be lifted and enable business to go on”.
Dr Afriyie Akoto also blamed the ban on the negligence of some stakeholders and advices that all play their role to reverse the ban.